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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1541;

Cumulative IT Use Is Associated with Psychosocial Stress Factors and Musculoskeletal Symptoms

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musculoskeletal Disorders)
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This study aimed to examine the relationship between cumulative use of electronic devices and musculoskeletal symptoms. Smartphones and tablet computers are very popular and people may own or operate several devices at the same time. High prevalence rates of musculoskeletal symptoms associated with intensive computer use have been reported. However, research focusing on mobile devices is only just emerging in recent years. In this study, 285 persons participated including 140 males and 145 females (age range 18–50). The survey consisted of self-reported estimation of daily information technology (IT) exposure hours, tasks performed, psychosocial stress factors and relationship to musculoskeletal discomfort in the past 12 months. Total IT exposure time was an average of 7.38 h (±5.2) per day. The psychosocial factor of “working through pain” showed the most significant association with odds ratio (OR) ranging from 1.078 (95% CI = 1.021–1.138) for elbow discomfort, to 1.111 (95% CI = 1.046–1.180) for shoulder discomfort. Desktop time was also significantly associated with wrist/hand discomfort (OR = 1.103). These findings indicate only a modest relationship but one that is statistically significant with accounting for confounders. It is anticipated that prevalence rates of musculoskeletal disorders would rise in the future with increasing contribution due to psychosocial stress factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: ergonomics; mobile device; touchscreen; psychosocial; musculoskeletal disorders ergonomics; mobile device; touchscreen; psychosocial; musculoskeletal disorders

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So, B.C.L.; Cheng, A.S.K.; Szeto, G.P.Y. Cumulative IT Use Is Associated with Psychosocial Stress Factors and Musculoskeletal Symptoms. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1541.

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